The Forgotten Diaspora by Peter Mark
Jewish Communities in West Africa and the Making of the Atlantic World

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This book traces the history of early seventeenth-century Portuguese Sephardic traders who settled in two communities on Senegal's Petite Cote. There, they lived as public Jews, under the spiritual guidance of a rabbi sent to them by the newly established Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam. In Senegal, the Jews were protected from agents of the Inquisition by local Muslim rulers. The Petite Cote communities included several Jews of mixed Portuguese-African heritage as well as African wives, offspring and servants. These merchants illegally supplied West African markets with swords, and this trade depended on artisans and merchants based in Morocco, Lisbon and northern Europe, and affected warfare in the Sahel and along the Upper Guinea Coast. After members of these communities moved to the United Provinces around 1620, they had a profound influence on relations between black and white Jews in Amsterdam. The study not only discovers previously unknown Jewish communities but by doing so offers a reinterpretation of the dynamics and processes of identity construction throughout the Atlantic world.

About Peter Mark

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Peter Mark is Professor of Art History at Wesleyan University. He is the author of several books, including 'Portuguese' Style and Luso-African Identity: Precolonial Senegambia, Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries (2002) and The Wild Bull and the Sacred Forest: Form, Meaning and Change in Senegambian Initiation Masks of the Diola (Cambridge University Press, 1992), as well as multiple scholarly articles. Professor Mark has twice been an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Frobenius-Institut, Goethe Universität (Frankfurt). He has also held National Endowment for the Humanities and Fulbright Fellowships. José da Silva Horta is Assistant Professor, with tenure, of African History and of Expansion History at Lisbon University, where he is also a researcher at the Center of History. He serves as director of the Faculty of Letters Doctoral Program in African History and of the African Studies Undergraduate Program. He is author of A 'Guiné do Cabo Verde': produção textual e representações (1578-1684), PhD dissertation, 2002 (revised to the press). His publications include A representação do Africano na Literatura de Viagens, do Senegal ... Serra Leoa (1453-1508) (1991) and articles in international journals.
Published January 1, 2011 by Cambridge University Press. 279 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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